Packing for New Zealand: 10 Things to Pack

Packing for New Zealand can be a difficult task

Not everything available in your home country is readably available in New Zealand. Here are ten things that expats wished were on their packing list for New Zealand.

Tools– An adjustable wrench, screwdriver, and pliers should be on your list.  They were not on mine, and I wished that I had packed them since I needed them all while settling into our apartment.

Reusable Bags– New Zealand is talking about banning single-use plastic bags, and grocery stores currently charge $0.10 for a bag.  I recommend Baggu bags since they fold up nice and small, and it is easier to remember them.  You can buy reusable bags for pretty cheap in New Zealand, but if you have room pack the ones you already have.

Beauty Products– This may seem like a weird item to be on the list, but many people have a particular shampoo or sunscreen that they want, and it might not be available in New Zealand.  I recommend bringing some with you so you have time to find a new product or where you can buy the ones you like.

Streaming Devices– You cannot buy Amazon Fire Sticks or Roku boxes from retailers in New Zealand.  Trademe sells them second hand.

streaming device with VPN

Shoes and Boots– I am sure no one is going to move to New Zealand without these, but if yours are on their last leg I would bring a new pair.  Hiking boots and running shoes are expensive in New Zealand.

Travel Adapters– You can find these in New Zealand, but they are expensive in the grocery store $10+.  It sometimes takes some looking to find a place that sells them for cheap.

new zealand adapter

Your Old Drivers License– If you have renewed your drivers license in the last two years it makes getting a New Zealand drivers license easier if you have your old one with you.

Guide Books-You can buy these in New Zealand, but books are expensive. At a physical store, it costs $40-60 for a guide book about New Zealand

new zealand guidebooks

Over the Counter Medications– Did you know that you cannot buy Benadryl in New Zealand?  OTC medications come in smaller pack sizes and are more expensive than the US.

Mandoline– Only a handful are available in New Zealand, and most are $100+


What is something that you wish you packed for New Zealand? Read about our favorite things and frustrations about New Zealand.

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